Parents donate Rs 20 lakh to IIIT-Hyderabad as memorial endowment to pursue research in late son's field of interest
K Vedant Kartik, the young researcher was part of IIIT-H research program in the field of artificial intelligence, cognitive science and robotics at the time of his death.
HYDERABAD: Giving life to a dream that was once cherished by their son, a couple donated Rs 20 lakh as a memorial endowment to a research institute in the city. In memory of their son's interest in the field of cognitive sciences, Girija Kidambi and Uday Kumar Kidambi donated the amount on Tuesday, eight years after their son met death following a road accident in 2010.
K Vedant Kartik, the young researcher was part of IIIT-H research program in the field of artificial intelligence, cognitive science and robotics at the time of his death. His research area was to design and implement artificial intelligence systems based on the architecture of the brain.
Though he was not eligible to pursue the research program with his undergraduate degree, he was roped in after one of his professor Dr Bipin Indurkhya, former faculty of IIIT-H saw Vedants' work as an independent researcher. He termed him to be a sponge who could absorb everything and termed him to be full of enthusiasm and confidence.
Explaining the thought behind the donation, Vedant's mother, Girija says, We, as his parents would like the young students of IIIT-H to know that Vedant was also a student there. "We would like them to be inspired by Vedant, who thrived at IIIT-H despite suffering from bouts of depression. We would also want them to know that he was a free-spirited person and knew no boundaries where subjects were concerned or between people and thought nothing of sitting down on a culvert to explain his project to a constable who flagged him down to inspect his licence!".
Though Vedant joined the Institute for his research, he had a rough academic background. Vedant dropped out of a premier engineering college two years after his enrollment, he would never resist to pursue his interest in research and continued doing so while completing a bachelors degree due to our pressure, Girija said.
His project titled Modelling of the Sensori-Motor Control Architecture of the Human Brain, essentially, tried to map the functioning of the human cerebellum onto a robot. He wanted to record observations, and prepare algorithms needed for the functioning of the robot along the lines of the cerebellum, his mother said.
Vedant extensively dedicated his time in understanding the evolution of artificial intelligence and its connect to the society. "An evening spent in the company of wise learned men, in conversation about the matters affecting today's society and life in general.We were talking about robots and computers, programs and circuits, but the real issue on the table was whether it is possible to understand what it means to be human," Vedant had written on his blog. For more details, his blog can be accessed here: vedantkidambi.blogspot.in